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April 20, 2012

Lunchtime Tune-ups

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Freeze away fat

The treatment: Cryolipolysis (Zeltiq CoolSculpting)
What it does: A clamp-like device sucks in fat and delivers cold air (like dry ice) to the area in order to freeze and kill fat cells, which then leave your body through the lymphatic system. "A protective gel sheet is placed over the skin, so there's no pain or injury and no recovery time at all," explains Isaac. "The procedure works well for the abdomen, love handles, arms, and thighs." Adds Marmur: "Once the clamp is attached, you can sit and read magazines, answer e-mails or—ironically—eat your lunch. It's genius."
Time commitment: One hour for a single area like the upper abdomen. Double that time for love handles, which require a treatment on each side.
Maintenance: One treatment (if you stay at the same weight).
Cost: $800 to $1,000 per treatment.

Firm up flab

The treatment: Radiofrequency body contouring (Thermage, Bella Contour, Exilis)
What it does: This technology works the same way on the body as it does above the neck: by heating and contracting tissue deep under the surface. "We often combine Zeltiq freezing with a radiofrequency treatment like Thermage because when you get rid of fat, there can be some laxity in the skin," says Isaac. Radiofrequency energy can also heat fat cells enough to flatten them. "It drains the fat cells of lipids, but it doesn't kill and eliminate them like Zeltiq does," says Alster. "If you gain weight, the cells fill up again with fat. Body contouring is very effective if you don't have enough fat to treat with cryolipolysis."
Time commitment: 40 to 60 minutes per area.
Maintenance: Four to six treatments, each session scheduled every one or two weeks, are suggested for one area.
Cost: $1,200 to $2,400 for the series, depending on the area being treated. (Package prices are usually offered.)

MC NOTE: As simple as these treatments sound, there's always some risk for complications. Play it safe and see a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

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